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PROUD provides homes in La Ressource

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Monday, March 31, 2003 - An impassionate appeal has gone out to those anticipated to benefit from the latest initiative of the Programme for the Rationalization of Unplanned Development (PROUD) in the La Ressource area. The appeal has come from Minister for Communication, Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Honourable Felix Finisterre.

According to Minister Finisterre, the true benefits of the over $400,000 first phase of the project, that includes construction of drains, roads and other vital infrastructural works, will only be realised if residents work hand in hand with government by taking advantage of the generous concessionary arrangements and paying for the services being provided. “For you the residents, today is a proud day and symbolizes something new. You are being given an opportunity to own a piece of Saint Lucia and really have access to collateral as something you can take to the bank,” said Finisterre.

He expounded further saying, “Now you are being given city conditions, you are being given conditions to live which are no less favourable than any other part of Saint Lucia. Electricity, water, properly paved roads and the like, all at the cost of between $2 and $3 per square foot. Those kinds of service lots in any other part of the country would go for no less than $10 per square foot. This is a gift from the Government of Saint Lucia and you should make every effort to ensure that your loans are current.” He encouraged residents to forgo the attitude that this was a government project and that they could renege on payments as that in itself would determine the possibility of others benefiting from the PROUD initiative.”

Finisterre pointed out that the infrastructural works underway in La Ressource will help offset the unemployment situation in the south. Mr. Martin Satney, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing, which has oversite of the PROUD project, said certain segments of society have been relegated to the sidelines in terms of contributing to the island’s economic growth due to their inability to own vital assets like house and land. That he explained was becoming more and more a thing of the past.

Said Satney to a very attentive crowd made up mostly of curious residents who had illegally occupied the lands for well over twenty years, “Both through the Prime Minister’s Office and through the Ministry of Housing there are significant initiatives and interventions at the moment through which many Saint Lucians who before never had the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives and these opportunities are now being provided to you in order to ensure that not only you enjoy a better quality of life but that your children and grand children do not go through the experiences that you had to go through.”

The PROUD Project is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Saint Lucia and is designed to improve the poor infrastructure and housing conditions prevalent in communities around the country. Several other communities around the country are to benefit from the PROUD project in coming months.

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